By Mike Rush
KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KSDK) - He's a man with a famous family name who's followed by accusations of ripping people off. 5 on Your Sideintroduced you to Roberto Gallardo a few months ago.
Now, Gallardo hasappeared in court as a direct result of a 5 on Your Side investigation.
Through his consignment-type business in Kirkwood, we've told you how a recent widow accuses Gallardo of cheating her out of money. Now, 5 on Your Side has uncovered new allegations against him, a charge that he literally stole from the blind.
Our 5 on Your Side camera made a mad dash outside a Kirkwood courtroom, catching up with a surprisingly accommodating Roberto Gallardo.
"No, it's all good, we're up and going, things are good," said Gallardo.
Surprising, because it's our 5 on your Side investigation that forced Gallardo to appear in court, answering to a charge of operating his business without a license.
The widow, Karen Richman, contacted 5 on Your Side's Mike Rushclaiming Gallardo made an agreement with her terminally ill husband, Howard, to sell off some furniture and other items and split the profits.
Long after Howard's death, Karen still hasn't seen a dime. As Rush researched Gallardo, whose family founded the now-defunct Casa Gallardo Mexican Restaurant chain, he discovered and reported to Kirkwood police that he didn't appear to have the proper licensing to run the consignment business.
Kim Hallows says she's familiar with Gallardo.
"I hope this man rots in hell," she said.
She claims that in 2010, Gallardo robbed the non-profit organization she's a part of, United Workers for the Blind. Hallows was in charge of planning an anniversary bash, and chose Gallardo's restaurant at the time, located in a building on Washington Avenue.
"He says, 'I can supply you with anything you need.' He said, 'You know, we can put a sound system in if you want to play music,' you know, he basically promised me the world," said Hallows.
But eventually, she says, he seemed to fall off the face of the earth. The restaurant went under and the group's $500 deposit was gone.
"He really ought to feel sorry for himself because he had robbed the blind," she said.
Outside court, Gallardo seemed confident he'll be back in business soon.
"I have the license, it's just waiting on the occupancy permit which isn't my building so I don't control that, it's the building owner's," he said.
Rush checked with the City of Kirkwood. A spokesperson says despite what Gallardo claims, he does not have a business license. Nothing was decided in court because the hearing was moved to next month.
Also, the Missouri Attorney Generals' Office assures Rush it continues to investigate claims against Gallardo and his findings that Gallardo was not properly licensed.